Monthly Archives: October 2011

PSA is Looking for Alumni

Author: Ali Berryman, GSE’12

Over in Williams Hall, the men and women of Penn Student Agencies are working hard to serve the Penn community and we love every minute of it.  But there is something missing… a void in our hearts. Where are our alumni?  Where is the man who designed the Penn Calendar in 1994? Who is the woman who thought up the idea of laundry delivery?  Where are the people who spent countless hours working on these small businesses so that hundreds of students would continue to have jobs years down the road?

Alumni, we are looking for you!

Maybe you were a barista, or the manager of Promotional Programs, or maybe you delivered The New York Times to dorm rooms.  Whatever your job, we want to meet you. We want to hear about your experiences and share with you how PSA is now. Perhaps you have some good ideas or tips for our students.

On Friday, November 4, 2011 at 6 PM in Houston Hall, we will have a dinner for all people who have ever been associated with PSA to celebrate the organization and the fabulous people who have given so much to ensure the success of the businesses. We will also be holding a penny (loose change) drive for the non-profit that is near and dear to the heart of several PSAers, Back on My Feet.

If you can’t make the event, please get in touch with us! We’d be happy to send you newsletters and invite you to other events.

All RSVP’s for this event to be held during Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture can come directly to me, Ali Berryman (PSA Graduate Assistant) at


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Filed under Campus Life, Guest blogger, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture

Baby, Be Wise – Immunize!

Author: Lynn Carroll, C;93

It’s that marvelous season again… Flu season!  Ryan Leonard, C’10, and Mel Kearney, RN (an ER nurse at HUP) devised a fun way to encourage people to get their flu shots. This video features the amazing acting ability of HUP staff, accompanied by the melodious voices of PennYO, a student a cappella group.  Who knew public health education could be so kooky?

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Filed under Alumni Perspective

Renovation! Du Bois College House

Author: Nicole Maloy, W’95

Did you know that the Du Bois College House has undergone an amazing renovation? It’s been a little while now, but some people still haven’t seen the changes to the residence where I stayed overnight when I first visited Penn, where I rehearsed with The Inspiration, where I watched The Cosby Show and A Different World on Thursdays (Cosby Night!), and where I stayed up all night playing spades. I was a “lifer” in this House (4 years!), and proudly served on the House Council. After countless programs, discussions, and celebrations, there is just no way to separate my experience at Penn from this more-than-a-dorm which offered academic and social resources in-house, and served as the model for the University’s entire College House system.

Du Bois College House was founded in 1972 for students interested in African-American scholarship and culture. What’s not in the official description is how the House has served as a home away from home for generations of students since then. With residential programs like Consciousness in Black Film and Theatre and Politics & Cultural Pluralism/American Indian Cultures, and a Du Bois Fit program to encourage healthy living, the House has more to offer to students today than ever before.

Let’s take a little stroll through the House in its newly renovated state, shall we? Special thanks to Ms. Trish for showing me around and letting me take these pictures.

At the entrance with Du Bois College House Dean Ms. Patricia Williams, aka “Ms. Trish.” She oversaw the entire renovation project.

Check out these beautiful new windows in the Multi-Purpose Room! Amazing the difference more natural light can make.

These student lounges are now on every floor. With these, plus the library, plus Seminar Rooms A & B, plus the computer lab, there is no shortage of space to work on that group project or get all that homework done.

These signs are over the trashcans. Penn is doing an impressive job with going “green,” and Du Bois is no exception.

Can you believe this? Gameroom. This is what the basement looks like now. Well, one side of the basement…

…the other side looks like this! And this isn’t including the weight room and cardio facilities down there now. I tell ya, back in my day, the basement was scary, and we didn’t have air conditioning in our rooms! These kids don’t know how good they have it! (waving cane)

Check out more photos of the renovated Du Bois College House on the official page. Enjoy, and try not to lament that all this happened after we graduated.


Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Life, Multicultural Outreach, Nicole M.

Penn vs. Yale – The Trials of a Quaker Fan

Author: Dan Bernick, SAS ’14

It was all over.

The Quakers were down ten points going into the fourth quarter. Our dreams at an Ivy League title three-peat were evaporating. What was a Quaker fan to do?

The truth is, I doubted.  Yale was tough and Penn had been lucky the past few weeks.  I felt bad for my doubt.  But the sinking feeling we would lose was hard to shake.

By the third quarter, I reversed course.  Instead of feeling guilty, I distanced myself from the team.  I withdrew from my fanaticism.  If we lost, it would be “their” loss.  Right?

But when the Quakers jumped from 10 to 23, I knew what I should have been doing since the game started.  Fight.  It’s my job to be with the team – my team – in good times and bad, and to yell just as loudly when we’re behind.

Photo Courtesy of the DP

The great irony that is the fighting Quakers came roaring back. 27 points in the fourth quarter, bringing the final score Penn 37 – Yale 25. That’s 18 Ivy League games in a row for you statisticians, or just plain awesome for you college students.

Ivy League Champions – Here We Come!

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Filed under Daniel B., Student Perspective

WXPN and World Cafe Celebrate 20 Years of Musical Discovery

Author: Kim Junod, C’00, MSW C’04

The Penn community has something to be excited about this October. A great piece of our University’s history and culture is turning 20! WXPN’s flagship program the World Cafe with David Dye is celebrating two decades programming all month long. I think all Penn students, faculty, staff and alumni will be surprised to know just how special this program truly is to our community.

The World Cafe has brought something really special to our campus. We house public radio’s leading popular music program. That’s pretty awesome considering that the program first aired out of WXPN’s original location which was a converted row home on 39th and Spruce and was distributed to only five radio stations throughout the country. Today, the program is produced in XPN’s beautiful facility at 30th and Walnut Streets and is nationally syndicated to more than 230 radio stations.

The show has been responsible for bringing so many musical legends to our neck of the woods. Elvis Costello paid a visit to our old station and had to borrow a keyboard from the guys across the street at Pi Lam fraternity. David Dye has interviewed legends like Herbie Hancock, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Steve Miller, Tim Robbins, (Penn alum) John Legend, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, and Michael Stipe all right on our campus! Now how many Universities can say that!?

We’ve also had many major artists visit the XPN studios for a World Cafe session at the start of their careers. Some of our first timers include Sheryl Crow, Ray LaMontagne, Feist and Adele. Thanks to the World Cafe, the Penn community has some great bragging rights and can say that we heard them first. To check out some more of our first timers, you can visit our 20th anniversary webpage.

WXPN and the World Cafe have served as great learning experiences for many Penn students through their internship program. I started working at XPN as an intern and a few of my colleagues are also Penn grads who started as interns, including our World Cafe line producer Beth Warshaw-Duncan. It’s been an exciting journey working on the World Cafe and I encourage Penn students to continue getting involved with our internship program- if you are interested you can find more info on the internship program here.

Now for the fun stuff… We’re having a month-long party over at XPN and we want you to celebrate the milestone with us!

You can tune into our show Monday through Friday from 2-4 PM to hear some fascinating programming that features the best interviews and artists that have appeared on the show.  You can also visit our home on the NPR Music site to check out these themed programs that we have been broadcasting throughout October or to hear a mix of songs recorded for the World Cafe over the last twenty years. If you love these one-of-a-kind performances, we have created a 20 song sampler for the taking here.

WXPN's Host, David Dye

As much as we are looking back, we are also looking forward. We would love to share another sampler with you- 20 bands we have chosen as up-and-coming talent as a part of our daily World Cafe: Next feature.  You can grab that music here.

We’re going to culminate our month-long celebration during the World Cafe Weekend Celebration from Friday, October 28 through Sunday, October 30 at World Cafe Live. We have some amazing artists coming to visit and pay tribute to the show and David. Throughout the weekend, you can catch performances by the Indigo Girls, John Hiatt, The Little Willies, Feist, Dawes, Amos Lee, Rhett Miller and Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks. It’s going to be a blast and we hope you that you can join us. Click here to learn more about the event and buy tickets!

We hope to keep the World Cafe going for another 20 years! We thank all of our fans and the Penn community for supporting us and helping us grow. As a listener supported station, we literally couldn’t have done it without you.

 For more information on what’s happening during the anniversary month, click here. We sincerely hope that you’ll be able to join us as we celebrate this milestone and thank you for your continued support!

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Fine Art, Guest blogger, The Arts, The Arts at Penn

Penn Club of LA is the Place to Be

Author: Lisa Ellen Niver, CAS’89

Join us in Los Angeles for awesome Penn Club events. Our Quaker spirit needs you!! There are over 9,000 Penn alumni in our vast city alone and we’re looking for you go join us.

President Melissa Wu, pictured here at our annual summer dinner on the beach at the Jonathan Club with TJ, Kevin, Lisa, George and Kiera.

The club is run by President Melissa Wu and a group of alumni leaders who are active, engaged, and fiercely loyal to Penn. Together, we support Penn’s interests and goals, acting as the primary alumni connection with the University, and engaging as many alumni as possible through social, networking, and educational activities.

You don’t even have to take my word for it. Recently, the club learned that it would receive the prestigious Alumni Award of Merit for its outstanding merits. To quote from the citation:  “For creative events, unstoppable energy, uncorked enthusiasm for all things Penn and, most of all, for not letting a 2,400-mile distance diminish its passion for the University, Penn Alumni is proud to present PennClubLA with the Alumni Club Award of Merit for 2011.”

In addition, the club regularly hosts fun and thought-provoking events for our members.  Recently, our club was part of the National Event, Meet Plan Go! to inspire career break travel. A sell-out crowd of over 100 participants gathered at India’s Oven to hear from a panel including Richard Bangs (PBS Adventure with a Purpose), Jennifer Leo (LA Times), and Lisa Napoli (KCRW).

Standing Room Only

Local leaders have noticed our efforts. I am proud to say that City Council member, Bill Rosendahl, recently honored me and my partner, George Rajna, along with our group, We Said Go Travel, for our leadership and community building with group and events alongside the Penn Club of LA.

The Certificate

Participating in Meet Plan Go for the first year, the Los Angeles meet-up was one of the biggest events of all seventeen cities. The October 18 event was the fourth event planned by my husband and me this year. I hope you will join us for our next club-affiliated event on November 29 at Century City’s X-Bar with the theme: Travel With Technology: “My Favorite Travel App.” App designers from Ship Mate and Studio Mini will be in attendance. For more information on all our events, visit or contact me directly.

You can also see what’s happening at the Penn Club of LA by going to

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, GAN, Lisa Ellen Niver, Penn Clubs, West Coast Regional Office

Perelman School of Medicine Has New Shiny Signs

Author: Stephanie Y., C08

Do you ever walk by something and think, “Wait a minute…that wasn’t there yesterday!” The newly renamed Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has shiny new signs at The Robert Wood Johnson Pavilion and inside the Biomedical Research Building (BRB) II/III. I walk through these buildings on a daily basis on my way to and from work, but I rarely take the time to look up at the building signs. The shiny letters caught my eye the other day, and they give the buildings some new sparkle.

Outside of the Biomedical Library

Inside the Biomedical Research Building (BRB) II/III

The Official Sign

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Life

4 Reasons to Come Home for Homecoming: As Illustrated in Paintbrush

Author: Leigh Ann P.

You know the main reasons to come home for Homecoming.  Football.  Tailgating.  Old friends.  Pretty fall colors and the feeling of being back at school for a new semester! 

But I bet you aren’t prepared for many of the other offerings that await you when you come home to Penn.  There is so much programming based on our Arts & Culture theme, this blogger had a difficult time narrowing down the field to just 4 events that might not be as well-known as the football game, and I’d like to highlight them for you below in illustrated form. 

Friday, November 4
4 – 6 PM
Quaker Exchange: Alumni-Student Speed Networking
College Hall, Room 200

Quaker Exchange offers undergraduates a chance to gain valuable career insights and exposes alumni to the bright Penn students of today.  What a useful event for everyone!

Saturday, November 5
10 – 11 AM
First Aid Care for Your Pet (part of the Penn Vet Animal Lovers Lecture Series)
380 South University Avenue

This event is an interactive session for pet owners and provides guidance and instruction for emergency situations.  I might really need to take a break from the registration tent for this one because there is always something wrong with my poor Franco!  Last night it was kitty pink eye.  What will it be tomorrow?  A broken kitty leg?  What ever would I do?

Saturday, November 5
10:30 AM – 2 PM
Penn Alumni Arts Fair
Blanche Levy Park (College Green/Locust Walk)

This is your only chance throughout the year to view and/or purchase the enchanting creations of our very own Penn Alumni artists!  Your talented fellow alumni will be waiting for you to stop by and visit them on Locust Walk!

Sunday, November 6
10:15 AM – 1 PM
Sunday Brunch and Tours at Penn’s Morris Arboretum
Morris Arboretum
100 East Northwestern Avenue

The natural offerings of the Morris Arboretum are sure to provide a valuable respite during a busy weekend in the city!  Plus, breakfast + lunch = brunch = good. 

There is only a week left to register for these great events and many others!  You can do so by clicking this link.  See you at Homecoming!

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Filed under Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Leigh Ann P.

Dressing up…or…Down…this Halloween

Author: Mari Meyer, GSE ’12

Jack-o-lanterns are out, the air smells like autumn, and campus is electrically buzzing with talk about Halloween.  It’s hard not to hear every other student gushing about costume parties and plans as they sip on their hot cider and pumpkin lattes. 

It has not been surprising to me that, in the classroom, I am blown away by Penn students’ intelligence, creativity, and cutthroat ambition.  While I expect no less from them when it comes to preparing their costumes, I know that when it comes to Halloween on a college campus, all bets are off. 

Thankfully, we’ve made it almost a year without the need for fishnets and mouse ears—we’ve revived our senses and reminded ourselves that cold weather requires covering up and that costume parties are not synonymous with re-enacting the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.  But as my first Philadelphia Halloween draws nearer, it is hard not to wonder what this year will bring in the fascinating evolution of masquerade. 

For a holiday where, as kids, we disguised ourselves in big costumes and heavy face paint in the hopes of collecting the most candy while going door-to-door, we have certainly got a pretty interesting case of folktale-misinterpretation on our hands.  As “Sexy Dorothy” once said as she shivered in not much more than her sparkly red heels and frilly mini-petticoat, “we are definitely not in Kansas any more.”

For the purpose of this blog post, I will call this phenomenon the “Panda Effect,” the process by which someone’s first costume idea is slowly transformed into its most minimalist state.  Take my fabulous roommate, for example, who has changed her costume plans at least seven times over the course of the last few weeks.  Until yesterday, when she changed her mind altogether and decided to go as Frieda Kahlo, she planned to be a Panda.  But not just any Panda, a Sexy Panda.  First of all, my roommate is a very beautiful woman, so anything she wears will have the capacity to be seen as such, even if she doesn’t intend on it being so.  Having said that, her version of panda involved short shorts and nothing more but a small patch of fake fur covering her belly.  Of course there would be ears: it’s all about the ears when it comes to costumes.  How else would we really get what someone is going for without them? 

Somehow this:

The Inspiration

Turns into this:

The Final Product

While many people choose the “less is more” look, here is one example of a different kind of costume evolution, as experienced by my very dear friend as we’ve grown older (and perhaps wiser?).

Here is an early rendition, my friend as a sexy fish.

Sexy Goldfish

Last year, she decided it would be more fun and much warmer to lose the fish fins and go full-out zombie. Not exactly the hottest choice, unless you like blood and gore.

Huddled in a corner, looking for brains

I cannot—or rather, should not—judge this culture, nor can I claim to have never skimped down for the sake of the season (I went as Snooki from the Jersey Shore last year, after all).

There was that one year that I wanted to make a political statement about the sexification of Halloween culture and went as an “Off-duty Playboy Bunny.”  I spent most of the night having to explain exactly what I was and why, and kept thinking: Wow, I should have just worn the bunny ears and been done with it!

But here’s the thing: Halloween is so loved because it gives us one day a year to rid ourselves of inhibition and rules and dress however we want.  At the very least, it gives us an opportunity to be creative with our identities, and has a built in  excuse to eat the candy that we’re too embarrassed to buy in bulk any other time of the year.

House slippers are way more comfortable than heels

So whether you’re going “spooky” or “sexy” this year, have a happy, safe Halloween, Penn!

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Filed under Mari M., Student Perspective

Beware of Vampires

Author:  Colin Hennessy

October is here, and the season for tricks and treats and ghouls and ghosts is upon us. Halloween is an enjoyable time on any college campus, and while Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries have put the thirsty undead firmly in popular culture, there is another vampire that is perhaps even more dangerous. I am talking about vampire power [flash of lightening, crash of thunder!]

Vampire power is a serious threat for any larger organization including Penn. It may not seem like a big deal to leave your printer on at the end of the day, or even leave your cell phone plugged in for the afternoon, and in truth, the amount of power your equipment is drawing is minimal.

HOWEVER – When you consider the thousands of others on campus doing the same thing, the power draw can be significant. Vampire power or standby power is very common. More and more devices are able to reduce their power consumption when not in use; however, they are still drawing power – leaking power, consuming power.

Consider your office or dorm room. What is plugged in that doesn’t need to be? Each one of those devices is drawing power. Power that contributes to Penn’s overall footprint.

Penn has ambitious sustainability goals, and each of us play a role in helping Penn to achieve those goals. In the coming months join with your colleagues and fellow students in finding ways to reduce Penn’s energy consumption and start with vampire power.

Here are just a few simple things you can do to reduce your energy use:

  1. Unplug  your equipment when possible
  2. Dress for the weather vs. adjusting the thermostat
  3. Use daylight not lamplight
  4. Recycle
  5. Print less
  6. Use public transportation or walk
  7. Report problems
  8. Learn more – visit Penn’s Sustainability Website to get more information
  9. Encourage your friends to join you!

Let us all do our part to make Penn a greener place and keep the vampires out.

Happy Halloween.

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Filed under Campus Life, Colin H., Sustainability at Penn, The Penn Fund